Thursday, September 25, 2008

LCD screen for La Fonera and Alexandre Thomas both managed to attach an LCD screen to their Foneras. Both projects are pretty sweet. You can send images to the Fonera and have them displayed. I don't know what you would use it for, but still, who wouldn't want one?

Links: - "LCD screen for LA Fonera"

Alexandre Thomas - "LCD for Fonera"

Saturday, September 20, 2008

My Fon Blog Celebrating One Year of Blogging

It's hard to believe that it has been a whole year since I have been blogging about Fon (I have been with Fon for about a year and a half) and it has been a lot of fun. I think. This has been (and will continue to be) a great learning experience.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Sold My First Day Pass

This is the most exciting moment ever for me. Somebody finally purchased a day pass from my fon spot. A year and a half later, and $2.20 in 15 minute free trials to get this far. Maybe someday I will reach $20 and actually get paid.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Wi-Fi Detector T-Shirt

Here at ThinkGeek we're pretty lazy when it comes to technology. We expect our gadgets to do all the busywork while we focus on the high level important tasks like reading blogs. That's why we hate to have to crack open our laptops just to see if there is any wi-fi internet access about... and keychain wi-fi detectors, we would have to actually remove them from our pockets to look at them. But now thanks to the ingenious ThinkGeek robot monkeys you can display the current wi-fi signal strength to yourself and everyone around you with this stylish Wi-Fi Detector Shirt. The glowing bars on the front of the shirt dynamically change as the surrounding wi-fi signal strength fluctuates. Finally you can get the attention you deserve as others bow to you as their reverential wi-fi god, while geeky chicks swoon at your presence. You can thank us later.

Product Features

  • Glowing animated shirt dynamically displays the current wi-fi signal strength.
  • Shows signal strength for 802.11b or 802.11g
  • Black 100% Cotton T-Shirt
  • Animated Decal is Removable (with hook and loop fasteners) for Easy Washing
  • Battery Pack is Concealed in a Small Pocket Sewn Inside the Shirt
  • Runs for hours off three AAA Batteries (not included)

Washing Instructions

  1. Carefully peel animated decal from front of T-Shirt
  2. Unplug ribbon connector behind decal and remove decal
  3. Unplug battery pack and remove it
  4. You can leave the ribbon cable inside the shirt
  5. Machine wash gentle cycle on cold
  6. Hang to dry
    Please Note: If you plug the connector into the battery pack backwards the shirt will not animate properly. It will not damage the shirt. Simply reverse the connector.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

One million Foneros!

Well it seems Fon is now officially claiming that there are one million foneros. Below is Martin Vars blog post and the bold is my comments intermingled in it:

Growth at Fon has accelerated. So much so that we reached one million community members and close to 300K lit routers (this is ten times more routers than T Mobile has on a worldwide basis).

Back in May Martin claimed "Number of registered Foneros is at 830,000. Number of registered hotspots is 332,000 and of active hotspots at anytime has gone up to 212,000," but we really know how that turned out. LINK

Yes it is true that a lot of the growth from Fon is now coming from operator deals, especially from BTFon but that is also great news because Fon is proving that we can work with telecom operators. Fon is showing fixed operators that by adding our shared wifi functionality with their broadband customers they have less churn, a lower cost of customer acquisition and a higher ARPU. We are also beginning to show some wireless operators that as laptops get smaller and phones get bigger mobile devices become data hogs and that WiFi is a great complement to 3G. The iPhone which even though is sold as a 3G device forces you to use WiFi to get downloads from iTunes is another proof of concept.

There he goes again comparing WiFi to 3G...

Sales of routers and day passes keep growing as we reduce losses. Last year we were loosing more then a million euros per month and this “burn rate” has shrunk to around 300K per month this summer. Our goal of reaching break even by the end of 09 which seemed so distant last summer now looks within site. And the fundamentals are with us. When we started Fon, back in 2006, 200 million WiFi chips were sold. The number of chips sold this year is expected to reach 1 billion.

This information is at least consistent with what he claimed before.

And more telecom operator deals are in the pipeline. In July we started Fon in Portugal in partnership with the largest cable operator in that country called Zon. Together we created Zon@Fon to serve their 1.5 million customers plus everyone else in Portugal who would like to enter the network. Next month we will launch Fon in Russia together with Sistema, the largest fixed and mobile operator in the country and we have 8 such deals in negotiations. Top countries for Fon are the UK, Japan and France. Japan in particular is the country where we sell the most routers. These countries are also some of the three most technologically advanced large countries in the world. To me this means that others will follow.

Again maybe Fon is benefiting from all of these partnerships, but does it benefit the Foneros? Personally, for me Fon is useless. I don't make any money as a bill (only $2.06 to this date and I will never get paid that money) and free roaming doesn't do me any good if there are practically no Fon hotspots anywhere I go (to be exact there are like 5 within a couple mile drive) Also, what about the USA, has Fon even attempted to partner up with any ISPs or whatever. Fon "had" a partnership with Time Warner Cable, but as far as I know of this is nonexistent.

Regarding our employees, we now have a more international team, reflecting the fact that Spain is less then 10% of our market. I take this opportunity to congratulate the people working at Fon for the great results achieved. Even if the company is not profitable yet, our goal gets closer every day and I personally put my time, money and heart in Fon. I also want to thank our investors at BT, Google, eBay, Index and others. I also thank all Foneros around the world as without their enthusiasm Fon, the largest WiFi network in the world would not exist.

"Even if the company is not profitable yet, our goal gets closer every day and I personally put my time, money and heart in Fon." - From my perspective, I have seen "progress" that has had very little impact on me.

"I also thank all Foneros around the world as without their enthusiasm Fon, the largest WiFi network in the world would not exist." - So if everyone turns off their routers, Fon would no longer exist? Who would have guessed that. Good thing he remembered to thank the investors for dishing out millions so that Fon can sell more crappy routers.

I guess for my one final thought. There maybe over one million foneros, but how many of those accounts are actually active? How many of them are Bill/Linus(s) and aliens? Who knows...


The English Fon Blog and El Fon Blog also have blog entries on this whole deal. It seems that there is some ambiguity between the Fon Blog and Martin Vars Blog. Fon blog claims there are 400,000 active hotspots while Martin claims 300,000. Someone forgot how to count I guess. Anyway I feel bad for this person claimed to be the "1,000,000th Fonero" because in reality he is just the 1,000,000th person to register. (including all of the people who might have multiple accounts and fake email accounts to get a 15 minute free trial)


Martin Vars Blog: "One million Foneros!"

El Fon Blog: "A Million Times, NO."

Fon blog: "FON WiFi Community welcomes 1,000,000th member"

Friday, September 5, 2008

WiFi remote controlled car

In the market for a mobile Fonspot that travels around on a remote controlled car? PJMDS from the Fon boards managed to take a remote controlled car and a Fon router and control the car wirelessly through his computer.

Or created something very similar using a Linksys WRT54GL.


Fon Boards: "coming soon, mobile fonera"

Youtube: PJMDS's Channel

Wifi Robot -

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Fon Status sticker

For anybody who wants to monitor the status of their fonera or fonera + check out this website.

It was created by skynetbbs and Kyros from the Fon Boards.
Fon Boards: ""

Monday, September 1, 2008

FON MOVIMIENTO Newsletter: July/August 2008

I guess I will add something new to my blog, I will start posting the Fon newsletter every time it is sent via email. This could help out those who don't receive it. (8/21/08)


Greetings to all summer loving Foneros! The summer might almost be over, but we hope that your holidays are not. Here at FON we would like to add some WiFi spice to your summer by inviting ourselves along on your vacations. Bring your Fonera with you to the beach, on your camping trip or on board your 45ft yacht… any place can become a FON Spot!

FON teams up with ZON in Portugal


The 17th of July meant the official launch of the ZON@FON WiFi community. Thanks to this partnership, FON and ZON, the biggest cable TV provider in Portugal, with more than 1.5 million customers and 400.000 broadband subscribers, give rise to the biggest WiFi network in Portugal. With the ambition of reaching 100.000 FON Spots in Portugal, they will even further expand the biggest WiFi network in the world, already showing off with 250.000 hotspots (and counting!). So there you have it, one more excuse to book that flight to Portugal!

¡¡ Bem-vindos !!

TWITXR gets a makeover


As you might know, FON and its research center FON Labs are constantly developing applications and goodies which make the digital life of Foneros more enjoyable. One of their creations is Twitxr, an application that lets you upload photos from your mobile devices, such as iPhone or Nokia, directly onto your favourite photo online sharing site. Check out the latest version of Twitxr with further improvements for mobiles using Java and Windows Mobile and start sharing your photos directly from your handset!

FON France

FON in France

Planning to go to France for vacation? Why not stop by the beautiful village of Paray le Monial, nestled in the vineyards of Bourgogne? FON and the local municipality have been installing FON access points in strategic locations all around town, and you don’t even have to leave the hotel room to get connected. Three of the leading hotels in the area, the Parada Hotel, the Basilique Hotel and the Aux Vendanges de Bourgogne have equipped their premises with FON. One of them decided to give up its previous WiFi solution and go with FON instead. Good choice! If you want to find out more visit the website of the Paray le Monial municipality or our FON maps. And don’t forget, after you’re done blogging about the subtleties of the different Burgundy grapes, drop a small merci to the Fonero who shared her WiFi connection with you.

Tips and tricks from our experts


As you know we do our best at FON to always keep you up to date with the latest progress and improvements of our Fonera, but as with most things in life, it is the small things that matter the most. Therefore our hottest recommendation will be this: Reboot la Fonera every now and then. Just switch it off and turn it back on. This will clean up the memory which avoids it getting stuck and ensures it keeps on sending the FON signal. Also if you didn’t see any signal from your la Fonera, this should bring it back to life!

FON Logo

Have a great summer!

The FON Team

Roaming With WiFi: The IEEE 802.11r Standard

This came up on my feed and I somehow completely looked right over it, until this morning when I noticed El Fon Blog wrote about it. This is something that IEEE has been working on since 2005. How will this turn out, we will have to wait and see. Can this benefit Fon? Definitely. Once again this is another wait and see what happens situation.

The IEEE standards body quietly published the 802.11r roaming specification last month, allowing handoffs between Wi-Fi access points in the same way cellular phones shift between basestations.

The IEEE 802.11r-2008 standard was ratified on July 15.

While most cellular phones need to shift between basestations with ranges measured in the hundreds or thousands of yards, a Wi-Fi connection can typically be measured in feet. VOIP phones that are on the go may need to shift between different access points, hence the reason for the 802.11r standard. Handoffs between Wi-Fi APs also need to maintain persistent security features if possible, which the new standard allows.

The handoffs take place in less than 50 milliseconds, rather than the several seconds needed to negotiate a secured connection.

Consistent handoffs are also a required feature of a Microsoft initiative, Vi-Fi, a joint project between the University of Massachusetts, Microsoft and the University of Washington.

The Wi-Fi Alliance, meanwhile, has tried to implement a complementary standard, called "Voice Personal," for routing VOIP calls over Wi-Fi signals. In late June, the Alliance developed a certification program, which has approved devices like the Intel 4965AGN Wi-Fi link and the Intel 3945ABG network connection that have been tested for interoperability.


El Fon Blog: "New WiFi Roaming Protocol Established" "IEEE 802.11r Roaming Standard Quietly Approved" "IEEE 802.11r-2008"

Google: "802.11r"